The FCC has revealed the first CDMA phone for Sprint that will operate on Nextelâ€™s 800MHz SMR band in the Samsung SPH-M830 when the first phase of the Network Vision initiative begins later this year. The M830 also features Bluetooth, a touch screen with slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and support for microSD cards, suggesting that this will be the mid-range smartphone announced early last month as part of its Sprint Direct Connect announcement. Neither Sprint nor Samsung have announced the phone at this time.
With the FCC approval of the M830, this suggests that Sprint is ahead of schedule in the construction and deployment of its new multi-mode base station hardware first announced in December of last year. While the network and the new CDMA-based push to talk solution is not expected to debut until the end of this year, early approval of such devices means that full-scale network testing is close to being initiated along with hardware testing.